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In the Classroom

Eighth Grade Speeches

October 3

Getting Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

This week marked the start of our 8th grade speeches, where each student speaks at assembly about a topic they are passionate about. One student shared about the confidence she gained from switching schools at the start of 6th grade, while the other shared how she’s learned about perseverance from playing tennis. Head of School Judith Foley Arnstein encouraged all the students to take advantage of the daily opportunities to speak in front of others, even when it’s difficult.


I encourage all of you to get comfortable being uncomfortable,” she said. “Being able to communicate your ideas is one of the greatest gifts that a CDS education will give to each of you.

The following is an excerpt from her remarks at Assembly:

From the Head of School: Judith Foley Arnstein

For some people it is easy to get up and speak. For others, it is anxiety producing. That is where practice comes into play. You may have heard your parents say, “practice makes perfect,” and in fact, that is true.

Every day, you are offered opportunities to speak in front of others. Take advantage of every one. Do it when it feels uncomfortable. Because what I know is that everyone in this room wants to see each of you succeed. And they care about what you think, what you worry about, what you are passionate about and what you have learned.

As we think about the future, we know that many of the careers that each of you will have, haven’t even been created yet. No matter what you do, you will need to communicate your ideas. And that is where the writing and public speaking skills that are part of every day at CDS will make a difference. So pay attention, listen and take every opportunity to become a better speaker and writer. 

For many of you, the eighth grade speech seems really far away. For others, it will happen in the next several minutes. Listen closely to what each of the speakers have to say because they are sharing something that’s important to them. They have worked hard to craft a speech that represents who they are. And that’s a great reminder — take the time to consider the words that you choose when you speak or write because they are powerful and they represent who you are — a friend, a scholar, an athlete, an environmentalist, a sister, a brother, a CDS Scorpion and so much more. 

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